Karen and husband were vacationing in Maine
Film, Video, Slides, Photo Transfer Experts since 1986
Karen and husband were vacationing in Maine
Karen, a Newton mom, brought in a huge collection of family video tapes of her family vacations, trips, kids’ recitals, etc
. It was her insurance. she said. One day, there’s a chance, growing up in our blame culture, her kids will lament in a psychotherapist office that their parents hadn’t paid enough attention to them. She would then whip out her VHS tape, 8mm tape, miniDV tape and photos and slides to show them all the vacations a
nd trips they did together as a family.
A customer came in last week with a stack of her children’s photos. She asked us to digitize the photos, create a music video montage, burn the video on a disc, and make copies of the discs for each of her 6 children. She absolutely loved the video montage that Alison, our Scattered Pictures Video Montage designer, created for her. She mailed off the DVD to her 6 kids in various parts of the country. A week later, when she came back to the store for other video transfer projects, she told Alison that one of her kids who has not spoken to her for 8 years, called to thank her.
Yesterday, a customer asked us to transfer a VHS tape to a DVD in 24 hours. Normally it takes 3 to 5 days. Fortunately we do all our video transfer work in-house so we could accommodate the rush request. Why did he need it in such a hurry? His mother was suffering from dementia, in the hospital, and he was sure that watching videos of her life would help jog her memory back.
Videos are powerful. They conjure up a time when everyone got along, everyone was younger, simpler, happier. A walk down memory lane may be the doctor’s prescription to family fights, premature memory loss, strained relationships. I’ll end with a quote from the French poet, Cesare Pavere: “The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten.“
Your old photos capture a point in time that you have moved from.
A point in time when your kids were little, and now they have kids of their own. A point in time when your mother pushed you on the swing, and now she’s not so mobile. A point in time when you were married, and now you’re not.
So once in a while, when customers bring their photos to scan to digital images, they asked us if we can remove their former spouses, former boyfriends, former mother-in-laws (never former children yet, thank goodness!).
Of course we can! Our photo restoration experts can do anything. But we try to talk them out of it.
Your former EXes are part of your history. And your history is part of what makes you who you are today. Celebrate your history. There are gifts to be found.
My own wedding photos lasted longer than my marriage. Instead of dwelling on the death of a marriage, I celebrated the Gifts of a marriage in this video.
Photo Scanning: http://playitagainvideo.com/47/scanning-photos/
Slide Scanning: http://playitagainvideo.com/44/slides-to-digital/
Cropping Photos without Software: http://playitagainvideo.com/howto/357/crop-photos-the-easy-way/
A facilities manager at a nursing home discovered bags of old vintage photographs while cleaning up the center in 2005. After 8 years of dogged persistence and resourceful sleuthing, he tracked down the family’s living relatives. “I just couldn’t throw them out. My interest in genealogy started when my grandmother passed down a photo album from the 1860s.”
Read the full story at:
Happy Holidays from all of us at Play it Again Video. Hope you enjoy the silly video above. The sentiment is sincere though. We thank you for choosing Play it Again Video over and over again.
2014 will be our 28th year! If not for your support, business, repeat business and stories, we would not still be here.
We’ve been feeling extra creative lately. In addition to our Holiday Greeting Macareindeer video above, we created a special gift for you: An ebook of 101 Memory Gift Ideas you can download at:
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
Play it Again Video Team,
Andy, Alison, Matt, Myrtha, Natasha and Qiu
After You Transfer Home Movies on VHS to DVD, Can It Be Edited?
The short answer is no. Most home movie DVDs are Read-Only (-R) discs. Which means, after you burn the DVD, you can’t even add or remove one byte of data on it, you can only Read the DVD, not change it. That begs the next question; can I copy the content to my computer and edit the video.
The quick answer, again, is No. Videos on DVD are formatted for playing on DVD players for your TV or on your computer. You can copy the DVD video files to your computer, but when you try to import them into your video editing software – unless it’s an expensive professional-grade software - your home video editing software will say, “What kind of a file is this? I don’t work with files like this.”
What you need to do is to first “rip” your DVD . A DVD ripper software will convert the home movie videos on your disc to a format that’s editable, that your editing software can recognize. If you work with Windows PCs, you will “rip” the DVD to AVI files. If you work with Apple Macs, you will “rip” the DVD to Quicktime (.MOV) files. Your video editing software will be very happy working with these video file formats.
Disc ripping is so common that there is free software available for download on the web. Here’s a helpful link on how to rip DVDs with Windows. Also, our customers tell us that they like Mac the Ripper for ripping DVDs on Macs.
Let’s take a step back. If your videos are still in VHS, VCR, Hi8 tapes or many of the film formats: 16mm, 8mm, Super 8, and you know you plan to edit your home videos, instead of converting your home movie tapes to DVDs, transfer your home video tapes to a portable hard drive instead.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Play it Again Video. We are a brick-and-mortar lab located in Newton, MA. Drop by, our contact information is at the top corner of this web page.
When I spend thousands of dollars and weeks of planning on a family vacation, I make sure I have photos to remember these memories. I anticipate many years from now, my grown child may be in a therapist office complaining about a neglected childhood, and I’ll have photos and videos to prove otherwise!
1. Take photos of people, not things. Now that I work in a video transfer store, where I see families’ vacation photos and videos decades after they were shot, it gives me insights into what really are valuable photo and video shots that will be cherished twenty-thirty years later and what is fluff, inconsequential. For example, your first sight of the Eiffel Tower may inspire you to take hundreds of photos of the magnificent landmark from multiple angles. But the Eiffel Tower is not going anywhere, is unlikely to look different years from now. So only take a photo of the Tower if you or your kids are in the photo as well.
Gayle, a customer who had boxes of carousel of slides to transfer to digital images told us how she hired a neighborhood kid to go through the slides to put aside all the ones without any faces. She would invest money digitizing the ones with faces, but not the ones without. Most of us take digital photos now so there’s a low cost to snapping away freely. Still, when it comes to preserving memories, think faces, people, over inanimate things.
2. Make something out of the photos – a photobook, a highlight video montage. Many of us have thousands of digital photos filed away in bits and bytes on our computers. The massiveness of them – repeats, poor shots, shots of things that interested us then but not now – keep us from enjoying them. I take the best of the best photos and create a photobook, and also a highlight video montage. It’s so much more enjoyable going through a 3 minute video memories of Paris 2007, then to go through hundreds of photos. Services like ScatteredPictures.com will take your vacation photos and turn them into a professional-looking keepsake video montage.
3. Make it easy. Unless you plan to take one vacation your whole life, make the process of preserving vacation memories easy. If you are doing it yourself, stay with simple software like animoto.com that you don’t need to relearn each time, but can produce a pleasing finished product. If you can afford it, do the hard job of selecting the best photos that capture your vacation experience, then hand them off to a professional to turn into a photo book or a music highlight video montage. You want to end up with a library of photobooks, or video montage DVDs of your vacations, not with a much overdue lists of post-vacation must-dos that give you guilt instead of joy.
One important tip: Make sure to include yourself in your family vacation photos. Many adults, me included, wish they saw more of the parents in the old family photos and videos, and not just of kids. After all, how are you going to prove to your child (and the therapist) that you were there too, and you didn’t just put them on a bus.
With Father’s Day coming up soon, I bet you’re wondering what is the best way to show Dad how much you appreciate and care about him. This year, don’t get another tie for his collection. Do something special for Dad and give him the gift of memories. It is sure to be a gift to be remembered forever.
Here are 5 ways to give the gift of memories this year for Father’s Day:
1. Convert home movies to DVD - Somewhere in Dad’s closet is his pile of VHS tapes of all his most valued memories. However, less and less people have working VCRs anymore. Also, what Dad may not know is that it’s not doing the tapes any good to be stored for too long. VHS tapes have a shelf life and slowly degrade over time, even if the tape is only 10 years old. This year for Father’s Day, what better way to show Dad how much you love him then by converting his old tapes onto DVDs. He will now be able to easily enjoy the DVDs with family and will know that the footage is saved from degrading any further.
2. Converting old photos to digital - Along with Dad’s collection of VHS tapes, there most likely is a huge collection of old photos that takes up more and more space over the years. Whether the photos are stored in big albums, or kept loosely in shoe boxes, it can be stressful and simply not fun to deal with. Luckily, there is a much better option to this that will let Dad enjoy every photograph completely stress-free. By digitizing Dad’s old photo collection, you have many different and unique options on what to do with them. You can make a slideshow that plays through the photos with Dad’s favorite songs playing in the background, put them on a digital photo frame for all to enjoy or even have a coffee table book published with all of Dad’s favorite photos printed beautifully together.
3. Photo restoration - Photographs are a very fragile thing and can be easily damaged especially the ones that were taken many years ago. Photos will fade, stain, and rip. What if Dad’s favorite family photo has been damaged? Don’t give up on the photo and throw it away. Photo restoration technology will let you take a damaged photograph and breathe life into it and make it like new again. It can be electronically stitched back together if ripped into 5 pieces, restore its original colors if faded, or have stains removed if stained. Imagine what Dad’s face would look like if you took Dad’s favorite photo he has given up on and had it digitally restored, printed and framed.
Although many records are now distributed on disc format, there is the occasional LP that is unavailable on any upgraded format. This can be stressful to Dad every time he wants to enjoy his favorite songs because he must set up all the equipment to play the record. By digitizing to CD, he can easily enjoy his favorite music in his car and at home without that bulky equipment and oversized record.
5. Transfer Dad’s old media to a hard drive - DVD’s are perfect for watching or making copies for loved ones but what if Dad wants to do more with his old media. By transferring to an external hard drive, his possibilities are endless. You can store photos, slides, film and audio files in a very accessible and organized way. After that, using different types of programs, you are able to edit the material to whichever way you’d like. You can make different cut points to make a certain section of a tape or film its own file, add music, burn DVDs of the footage you choose, and even send small files to friends all over the world. You can even put all the different types of media together and create a beautiful slide show using film footage, slides and add background music of the audio cassette you digitized. Even though Dad may not be familiar with using editing software, who knows, it could end up being his new favorite hobby!
Dad will be sure to love any of these ideas, and will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. This year, don’t add to Dad’s tie collection. Give him the gift of memories.
When you have a favorite photo to share, you can turn it into a poster board, a canvas bag, personalized greeting cards. What if you have hundreds or thousands of photos to share? After all, the reason you dug out your aging photo albums and shoe boxes of photos out of the closet and scan those photos to digital images is so you can view and share those old memories easily.
Below are 3 easy ways to share those years of happy memories:
1. Digital Photo Frame – These frames used to cost hundreds of dollars. Now, you can find large 15-inch digital photo frames for $100 or less. 8-inch frames can be had for less than $50. You can get plain frames that just displays your photos or sophisticated ones that also play videos, have motion sensors, turns into digital clocks when no one’s close by.
2. Photo sharing sites online – You can’t email hundreds of photos to your cousins across the country, but you can upload the photos online, then share a link to your online photo library. Some of the popular online photo sites are: Shutterfly, Flickr, Snapfish, and Photobucket. Your family from anywhere in the world can view the photos, even order prints.
3. Photo books – There are many online photo book creators. If you have a lot of photos, like hundreds, the one I recommend is Blurb.com for pricing. Pricing is similar when you are making a 20-page book. But when you go up to 100 pages, Blurb.com remains affordable ($48 for hardcover, additional pages is 20 cents). A page can fit anywhere from 1 to 10 photos. $48 gets you a coffee table book to display hundreds of photos, now that’s a good deal!
Recently, Shutterfly bought out Mypublisher, a popular photo book publisher. I expect the integration between your online photo library and producing a hard coffee photo book will become even easier.
There really is no excuse for you to hoard your family’s treasure of photos in the dark closet. Bring them out into the sun, get your photos scanned to digital images and share them with your friends and family using any of the suggestions above.
Linda, one of our repeat customers, found some family photos in a very unique way—inside of someone else’s kitchen wall. They went on quite a journey to get to her, and once she got them, they still had a ways to go!
Her mother’s family home was out west, and the family had long since sold it and scattered when the new owners decided it was time for some kitchen renovation. After knocking down a wall, they looked inside the wall to find, to their surprise, a stack of very old negatives. Luckily for Linda, the new owners decided to track down the original residents of the house and get those lost family photos back to them!
Then began the real work on their part. They started at their town hall, where they found records and information about previous owners of the house. A few generations had passed since Linda’s family had lived in the home, and her mother had gotten married and changed her name since her parents owned that house, but luckily she had some brothers who had kept the family name alive! The new owners tracked down one of Linda’s uncles and sent the stack of antique photos to him.
When Linda’s family got them back, they found that storing negatives in the kitchen wall left them open to all kinds of damage, but it seems that their string of good luck had not run out. Though some had faded or been damaged irrevocably, many of images were salvageable. They were taken using very old photographic equipment, and so they were not a standard size (well, not a standard size these days!) so we scanned the photos on a flatbed scanner to get the whole image, and then reversed the image. From there, some of the negatives just needed a little touching up. Some, however, will require extensive photo restoration.
Here are two of the negatives, and the images as restored at Play it Again Video:
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